Water Gate

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Water Gate

Jared Cruz and Marco Montano

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Is it safe to consume Bell High School’s water? 

There have been several complaints about the school’s water tasting bad and looking off-color.  The noticeably bad taste in the school’s water has affected several students here at Bell.  Student athletes say that the water has a generally bad taste. Several students said they don’t drink from the school’s fountains at all.  “If you compare the school’s water and purified water, you could see the difference,” said Marlon Cornejo who is on the track team and drinks the fountain water daily.  He also mentioned that he can see the chloride in the water and refers to it tasting like hot tap water.  Other students here at Bell also say that they try their hardest to avoid drinking it. Among students who drink from the water fountains on a daily basis, Jacob Ledesma said he recalls a day where the water was “coming out brown” and no one was allowed to drink from it.  Jacob also said that he and his friends recall an iron-like taste to the water.

After noticing the bad taste in the water, The Bell Chimes decided to examine the quality of our drinking water, testing chlorine, nitrate, lead, and hardness levels. Bell High school’s water was tested using a Health Metric drinking water tester on Friday, November 30th after we noticed the water had a bad taste to it. The results showed that the hardness (the amount of dissolved magnesium and calcium in water) of the schools drinking water is way over the recommended amount.

According to the World Health Organization, the hardness of water should be around 10 milligrams to 180 milligrams; Bell High school’s water quality is around 425 to 1000 milligrams. This is legally safe to drink but it begs the question, why is Bell High School willing to settle for legal water quality over providing students with good tasting water? We conducted other tests on the school’s water but found nothing out of the ordinary with the Nitrate and Lead levels. The hardness of the water was the only cause of concern because of its high results.

Even though the hardness is over the recommended amount, the water is still safe to drink and will not harm students if they consume it. We informed a handful of students about the tests we conducted and the results we received. The students did not like that the Office of Environmental Health and Safety do not have regulations that would impact the taste of Bell’s water. Ledesma expresses that he feels the Office of Environmental Health and Safety are not keeping their responsibility up to par. In order to have clean tasting water, students must pay for a water bottle when clean tasting water should be a given.

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